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Maintenance Checklist for Easton Homeowners

Winter Maintance Checklist

Heating System Checklist

  • Test run:
    Turn the thermostat to heat mode and set it to 80 degrees, just for testing. You should hear the furnace turn on, and warm air should begin to blow within a few minutes. If the furnace is running fine, turn the thermostat back to its normal setting. If it’s not running properly, you can try to diagnose it as outlined in Gas Furnace Repair and Troubleshooting. Depending on what’s wrong, you may be able to fix it yourself, or you may need to call a qualified service technician.
  • Seasonal maintenance:
    Either have the furnace checked by a service technician or do it yourself, as outlined in Seasonal Furnace Maintenance.
  • Replace the air filter:
    Put in a new, clean air filter. It’s easy, just follow the steps in Furnace Filter Replacement.
  • Fuel:
    If you have a propane or oil furnace, make sure to have your fuel storage tank topped off and ready to go.
  • Heating vents:
    Clear obstacles to heating vents, so air can freely flow. Many experts recommend having a service technician come in and clean the vents every year or two.
  • Check for carbon monoxide leaks:
    This silent killer can easily be detected with either an inexpensive test badge or battery-operated alarm. Whichever way you decide, just please decide to protect your family with one of these units.
    See Testing for Carbon Monoxide for more information.
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5 Secrets For DIY Projects

5 Secrets For DIY Projects

5 Secrets For DIY Projects At Home

Is there a home maintenance project that’s been lingering on your to-do list for too long because you’re dreading the trip to the hardware or craft store? There are some projects you can tackle with items that are almost certainly already in your home.

  1. Vinegar: There’s probably a jug of vinegar in your pantry right now. You can soak items in vinegar to remove mineral deposits (like in a clogged showerhead), and you can boil vinegar in your microwave to remove odors and make it easier to clean.
  2. Cola: A can of Coke or Pepsi can be used to clean many surfaces, including your glass windows, porcelain toilet, or chrome fixtures. Just do some research before using it on metal surfaces, as it can be corrosive.
  3. Baking soda: This item may actually be more useful for applications other than baking. A baking soda-vinegar paste is great for cleaning bathrooms and kitchens. Baking soda can also be used to absorb odors.
  4. Butter knife: Screwdrivers are easy to misplace. If can’t find a screwdriver when you need one, a butter knife—preferably an older one that you no longer need for table setting—is pretty effective for both Phillips- and flat-head screws.
  5. Toothpaste: Is there an unsightly scratch on your car or bike? The grit in tartar-control toothpastes makes for an effective scratch remover. Clean the scratch, apply some toothpaste, let it sit for a few minutes, and then buff it out with paper towel.
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Ready To Move? Here Are A Few Real Estate Tips

Tips for buying a home in Easton

Ready To Move? Here Are A Few Real Estate Tips

For most families, move-in day in a stressful time in their life. That’s why we have listed key real estate tips for your benefit.

Eight weeks before you leave your present address

  • Remove unnecessary items from your attic, basement, storage shed, etc. Use things you can’t move, such as frozen foods and cleaning supplies.
  • Obtain information about your new community.
  • Secure a floor plan of your new residence and decide what household items you want to keep.
  • Start a possessions inventory.
  • Solicit estimates from at least three moving companies.
  • Call your homeowner’s insurance agent to find out to what degree your move is covered.
  • Create a file for documenting all moving papers and receipts.
  • Arrange to transfer your children’s school records.

Six weeks before you leave your present address

  • Contact the IRS and/or your CPA for tax-deductible information.
  • Evaluate your possessions inventory. Can you donate anything? Do you need it all?
  • Notify your friends, relatives, professionals, creditors, subscriptions, etc.
  • Subscribe to a local paper in your new community and familiarize yourself with local government, community, and social news and activities.
  • Begin the off-site storage process (if applicable).
  • Locate high-quality health-care professionals and hospitals in your new location.
  • Complete post-office change of address cards for the following: banks; charge cards; religious organizations; doctors/dentist; relatives and friends; income tax bureau/Social Security Administration/union; insurance broker/lawyer/CPA/ stockbroker; magazines; post office; and schools.
  • Clean your closets.
  • Hold a moving/garage sale or donate items to charities.
  • Choose a mover. Contact your mover to make arrangements and inquire about insurance coverage.
  • If relocating due to a job, contact your employer to see what costs, if any, they will cover.

Four weeks before you leave your present address

  • Start packing! Find The Best Way to Pack for a Move here.
  • Send furniture, drapes, and carpets for repair/cleaning as needed.
  • Gather auto licensing and registration documents, medical, dental and school records, birth certificates, wills, deeds, stock and other financial documentation, etc.
  • Contact gas, electric, oil, water, telephone, cable TV and trash collection companies for service disconnect /connect at your old and new addresses. Also, ask for final readings.
  • Request refunds on unused homeowner’s insurance, security deposit with landlord, and prepaid cable/internet service.
  • Notify your gardener, snow removal service and pool service (if applicable).
  • Contact insurance companies (auto, homeowner’s, medical and life) to arrange for coverage in your new home.

Three weeks before you leave your present address

  • Make your travel plans.
  • Arrange to close current bank accounts and open accounts in your new locale (if necessary).
  • Notify your state’s motor vehicle bureau of your new address.
  • Arrange for childcare on moving day.

Two weeks before you leave your present address

  • Arrange special transport for your pets and plants.
  • Service your car for the trip.
  • Contact your moving company and review arrangements for your move.

One week before you leave your present address

  • Prepare detailed directions and an itinerary with emergency numbers for your moving company.
  • Settle outstanding bills with local retailers. Pick up dry cleaning, and return library books and rented videotapes.
  • Take pets to the veterinarian and get copies of their records.
  • Drain gas and oil from power equipment.
  • Give away plants not being moved.
  • Cancel newspaper delivery.
  • Buy two-weeks worth of medication and have your prescriptions forwarded to your new pharmacy.
  • Buy traveler’s checks.
  • Make arrangements to pay for your move.

Two to three days before you leave your present address

  • If you’re not doing it yourself, have your mover pack.
  • Defrost refrigerators and freezers.
  • Consider gathering all valuables and giving them to family or friends to hold until the move is completed.
  • Disconnect all major appliances.
  • Contact your moving company for any updates.
  • Pack first-night items and a survival kit. Keep them in separate boxes in your car. First night items may include sheets, towels, toiletries, phone, alarm clock, change of clothes and a flashlight.
  • Mover’s survival kit may include: scissors, utility knife, coffee cups, instant coffee/tea or a coffee maker, water and soft drinks, snacks, paper plates, plastic utensils, paper towels, toilet paper, soap, pencils and paper, local phone book, masking and/or duct tape, trash bags, shelf liner and aspirin or ibuprofen.

Moving day

  • Be home to answer any questions your mover may have.
  • Record all utility meter readings (gas, electric and water).
  • Stay until your movers are finished.
  • Complete information on the bill and carefully read the document and the inventory sheet before signing it.
  • Keep your copies of the bill and inventory until your possessions are delivered, the charges are paid and any claims are settled.
  • Take one final look around to see if you forgot anything.
  • Give movers the directions to your new home, and an emergency number where you can be reached during the move.

At destination

  • Unpack first-night items and mover’s survival kit.
  • Be at the destination to welcome the movers and be on hand to answer any questions.
  • After the job is completed, pay what is owed. The driver is obligated by law (a federal requirement for interstate moves) to collect payment upon delivery.
  • Scrutinize the unloading of your items and account for each one on your inventory sheet. Check promptly and carefully for any damaged or missing items.
  • Place moving and other important documents in a safe place.
  • Go to the post office and collect held mail.

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View Marlene’s properties for sale. 

Source: Success! Real Estate

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Tips on Buying a Home

buying a home

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you’ll want to carefully choose the real estate professional you work.

You should commit yourself to work with one sales associate. This person can learn your likes and dislikes in homes to make your home-buying process easier.

Choose a professional who specializes in residential real estate and who has specific knowledge of the local real estate and mortgage markets.

The person you choose should listen to you and be interested enough in you to find out about your housing needs and preferences. Service first should be the motto of the professional you choose with services going above and beyond what you expect and need.

Doing some preliminary planning before you begin your home search will make the entire process more manageable and less overwhelming. As part of your initial game plan, you should check your credit rating.

If you’re sure you have excellent credit, it’s wise to double-check at the outset. Straightening out any errors or disputed items now will avoid troublesome holdups down the road. This will help when you’re waiting for mortgage approval.

You may see disputed items, in addition to errors caused by a faulty social security number, or a court-ordered judgment paid off that hasn’t been cleared from the public records.

If such items appear, write a letter to the appropriate credit bureau. Credit bureaus are required to help you straighten things out in a reasonable time (usually 30 days). Real estate professional Marlene Wasserstein has a reputable history of helping buyers and sellers. This is why local families turn to her for their real estate needs.

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